Vice-President of the World Rugby sports governing body Augustin Pichot has let it be known that they will not be bailing out Argentina, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa should they hit the skids financially. The SANZAAR nations must extract themselves from the novel coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic as quickly and as painlessly as they can.
Pichot stated that these countries must work together as far as is possible to ensure they survive this crisis, citing a worst-case scenario of Rugby Australia’s looming economic collapse sparking an international domino effect.
No Rugby in 2020 for the Pumas, Wallabies, All Blacks, and Springboks would see a combined fiscal deficit of almost $800 million, it’s been estimated, an amount that World Rugby couldn’t possibly cover. He advised that all possible measures be taken to quell the impact of the pandemic as soon as possible and added that unity is critical.
Pichot said that if Australia falls, New Zealand will be next hit, then South Africa will go under, and finally, Argentina will crumble. He explained that surviving this crisis individually is out of the question and the first order of business is to address the consequences of the pandemic and mitigate them as far as possible. He said there’s no question of World Rugby stepping in to cover a deficit of this size since they simply do not have that kind of money.
Pichot added that this enforced break should prompt SANZAAR to seriously assess how profitable and economically viable its competitions are, even in the short-term.
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